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Poison protects seeds: yews

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Yew berries / Simon Garbut.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The seeds of yew trees are protected from being eaten by large animals because they contain poisonous compounds called taxanes.

BIOMIMICRY TAXONOMY
Summary
"The yew attaches a bright red fleshy covering to its seeds which many birds relish and accordingly transport. Their beaks are not strong enough to damage the seed and that is just as well for it contains a savage poison which can kill bigger animals if they are incautious enough to crush a seed in their mouths." (Attenborough 1995:32)
About the inspiring organism
Med_800pxyew_berries Taxus
Taxus

Habitat(s): Forest
Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist


Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Biological pest control product.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Agriculture, medicine

References
Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  

Comments

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Sherry
over 4 years ago
Thanks to Duarte Miguel Prazeres for finding and uploading this photo.
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